We’ll probably never know where the wonderful slang word kibosh comes from, but Anatoly Liberman has a fine roundup of some interesting recent theories that is worth your attention; J. Peter Maher traces it to French caboche ‘head (informal),’ Stephen Goranson to kurbash ‘a long whip made of hippopotamus or rhinoceros hide used as an instrument of punishment in parts of the Muslim world,’ and David L. Gold to the clogmakers’ term kibosh ‘iron bar about a foot long that, when hot, is used to soften and smooth leather’ (thanks for the link, Bruce!).
Also, Sashura sends me this query on an obscure dialectal form:
It’s blackberry season and I posted a picture of my pick on facebook. In the comments thread a Ukrainian friend of mind said that in Transcarpathia (Закарпатье) they call it by a strange word эуфаны [eufany]. I tried several languages on Wikipedia and none seems to correspond to euphany. What could it be?